Haskell Invitational Countdown: The Most Profitable

Haskell Invitational Countdown: The Most Profitable – 2014

A little precursor to this one. Right around 2013 I accepted a job straight out of my master’s/doctorate school completion located just a mile from Monmouth Park. To extend matters of track knowledge my now fiancé also grew up in Oceanport, NJ and was still living with her family there, also a mile from the track. I was away from the game in terms of the everyday weekend grind for about 9 years between undergraduate, graduate and doctorate work so my ears had been less full with what was going on in and around the track then per the usual.

Upon landing the job and being at Oceanport much more often to spend time with my fiancé and work, needless to say I was around the track much more then I have ever been up until this time. I would take some lunch breaks if I was loving a horse and head over to play them. I spoke with many of the other Handicappers that made a living off this game. Additionally, I began to land on the leaderboard in tournaments and owners would ask If I was an owner due to those constant high leaderboard placements, and if not was I interested, which gave me the ability to head to the stables. I visited some horses on a regular basis, spoke to some trainers and stable mates and became very good friends with a current jockey and a particular trainer that, that jockey still to this day typically mounts for. All in all, I was more than prepared and prepped for this season than ever before.

Everyone has their home turf. My friend Pick 6 King smokes Gulfstream ever since I began to speak with him on a weekly/bi weekly basis and also dominates the NYRA. It didn’t surprise me to find out in conversation where his location landed while growing up and also currently. My buddies Pat and Steve, also excel at Monmouth and the NYRA, does not surprise me they grew up in NY and upstate Jersey and have now since moved south and reside in Monmouth County, NJ. Call it luck, I call it home turf. Skill plays a part absolutely, but knowledge, who you know and what you know about your home track is also key in my humble opinion.

With all that being said, In 2014 I was quite keen on Bayern. After getting wiped out in the Preakness, he put on a clinic in the Woody Stephens. I was slightly concerned with a possible bounce, but the number was not so outrageous that I was overly concerned. I waited on his workouts like a kid in a candy shop and they did not un-impress. His last workout coming into the race was off the charts, Baffert was smoking hot in the Haskell while losing the previous year, he won the 3 before that with Paynter, Coil and Lookin at Lucky. All this was more than enough for me and without getting into too much detail I saw him once more during the week. There were four things left I wanted to see. Going back to home turf, Monmouth tends to usually get rain on Haskell day, so I wanted to see the footing he would get. Secondly, Monmouth tends to develop a rail speed basis and about 4-5 races in through the day you can see if there is some favor to it or not. Especially when the better jockeys are mounted as they will completely change their trip mid race to ride it. Third, part of that rail speed bias also has a 50% cause due to Monmouth getting a Southwest to Northwest wind from the water less than a mile away and it can really benefit the top end speed and hurt the closers. Lastly, I wanted to get one more paddock look on the day of. Those four factors would play in to at this point not If I was going to bet him, but how much.

Typically, on Haskell day, I do very little betting, while instead make up for the drinking I haven’t done while handicapping the previous 5 months. Additionally, our crowd that started out as a foursome, at this point has turned into 20, it’s like a family and friend reunion, the last thing I want to be doing is sweating, stressing, and not having a good time while losing. I’m not going to get into the entire day because this is Most Profitable Haskell article not day, but I will get into the bet determining race and the Haskell. I find 2-3 spots and try to pound them and call it day. I was very content with how the day was going and was up about $100 betting minimal wagers. I only go to the track with $200 starting bankroll (unless in a tournament) so I was around $300 total bankroll 6 races before the Haskell.

By Race 4 or 5 the front end speed bias was in full affect. If you go back and check out the full chart race results, I don’t even have to look, I will assure you it went something like

2,1,1,1,1

2,1,1,1,1

1,1,1,1,1

So here we are at Race 7, somehow a horse by the name of Natalia Victoria is a heavy favorite at 1/1, maybe even lower. As I mentioned, Pick your spots. At this time, Moochie Man and Antonio had not come onto the scene yet, Lezcano was my favorite jockey in the whole world and had won me a good amount of money already up to this point. However, I was just not seeing him or this horse winning the race, especially not at those odds. A closing horse, up against the wind and the front end rail basis, no way. I thought the only possible shot was if Lezcano tried something new and took this horse out to the lead and tried to use tactical speed to get away. In my mind, Majestic River with Rosie on board should have been the favorite as the lone top end speed horse. At this point and time in the day, the bias benefits are clearly in this horse’s favor. There were a bunch of horses, all that I’ve seen at Monmouth run before that I knew a lot about grouped into 5/1-7/1 range, and a horse that had a very good shot I really liked that I guess I only luckily knew about at 30/1 or so. The remaining 2 horses were a 50/1 shot that clearly was up against it and a horse that was taking a lot of money that I’d seen 4-5 times during the meet and never ever fires early, off my ticket.

Having around $300, I knew I wanted to have at least $200 for Bayern coming up later on in the day, so I went to the computer and put in a $1 trifecta box 3,5,6,9 – $24 and punched it 4x for a total of $96. As expected Majestic River went right out to the top and unfortunately my fear Lezcano took the heavy favorite Natalia Victoria out there also. The two sat side about side the entire backstretch and for the most part Natalia Victoria held quite the advantage. The rest sat in a pretty close and tight pack right behind. Right around the turn Lezcano and Rosie got into both horses and Majestic River was gone, Rosie turned into the rail, road the bias easily clear. Natalia Victoria looked to have nothing but also seemed to pull up a bit. The rest of the pack broke away as the #3 Montana Native and my 30/1 secret #6 Lucky Rag Doll tried to chase down Majestic River. They would not catch her, but BANG. $398 on every $1, we slapped it for $1,592, without the tax man knowing.

I sat for the rest of the card until the Haskell. Bayern walked out of the paddock and into the post parade just like the beast I pegged him to be the entire week, the stage was no bigger than any other race for this horse. Not only did he look great, the horse being obsessed with and most successful out front for Baffert now has the track bias behind him, I mean could this setup get any better for my horse of the day? I wasted no time. I went right to the computer, $100 to win. (Now later in life this would be one of the many times I took a stand vs. Untapable, al. la my biggest score ever, Wedding Toast), I would then put in a $5 Exacta punching it 10x for $50, 2 w/3,4,5,6,8,9 and a $2 Trifecta, punching it 2x for $60 2 w/3,4,5 w/3,4,5,6,8,9. When the dust settled I was All in on Bayern for $210.

For anyone that saw the race I don’t think I need to say much or go into much description. I knew the second Bayern broke to the top and went to the rail, the race was over, and everyone around me did too. Garcia found the bias on the rail and road it until there was fire under his shoes. Fractions of 23:54, 47:66, and 1:11.16 all on the rail only reassured me it was long over. Martin Garcia asked around the turn for more and he got it as Bayern won by about 7 lengths that felt like 30. To be honest, I was more concerned about my Exacta and Trifecta and didn’t even see Bayern finish. #3 Albano also went right for the bias and road the rail dead last to second on the stretch while #8 Wildcat Red held 3rd from start to finish, so we hit all 3.

When the smoke cleared the win paid $11.40 = $570. The Exacta paid $97.00 = $485 and the Trifecta paid $432.90 = $1,731.16. In total $2,786.16 on the 2014 Haskell Invitational, earning the Haskell Invitational Countdown, Most Profitable Haskell.

Haskell Invitational Countdown: The Most Meaningful

Today’s Category: Most Meaningful

The Most Meaningful Haskell – Touch of Gold 1997

Horse Racing really all started for my best friend Steve and I on this day. One would think I would have come around to horse racing at some point and time anyway, but you never know. Our fathers took us to our first day of races and first Haskell on this day. We will now will be approaching 19 straight Haskell invitational, man we are getting old. Clearly I fell in love with horse racing that day. Watching these beautiful animals walk around the paddock, running over to the rail to get a full look of the post parade, the smell, the feel, the look, those things have never changed.

 It’s hard to ever forget your first race and the day as a whole. As my Dad explained it to me, in 1997 Silver Charm won both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness but was beat in the Belmont stakes by Free House. Silver Charm would not compete in the Haskell due to a blood disorder, however Belmont Stakes upset winner Free House would still make his way to Oceanport for the Haskell.

Touch Gold and Free House would both go off at 6/5, however I remember slightly more money being on Touch Gold. A clean break would send Free House, Anet, Tale of the Cat, and Frisk Me Now essentially 4 wide through a very quick opening quarter-mile in 22.3 seconds. Touch Gold earned himself a very good ground saving stalking trip along the rail. Chris McCarron made a sweet move around the turn splitting a tight 2 before clearing down the stretch, putting away all of the tired pace-setters, and winning the Haskell by 1 ½ lengths.

 I’ll never forget the move he made which really put a cherry on top of the cake on horse racing for me and why I believe that I have such a love for jockey’s now and respect a really great ride whether it be in win or defeat. What some of these jockeys can do with these horses is amazing, the respect many have for the fans and how each have their own style is just really so amazing.

 What’s also never changed is the bond it was able to bring upon my father and I. Through some trying times as a family we always found some solidarity and middle ground at the track. We have become much closer now and there’s very few things better than taking in a day at the races with my father. He supports me during all of my tournaments more moral than in a handicapping term as I am the one supplying the tickets and picks now lol, but I wouldn’t change it for a thing.

 While Steve and I will be there Sunday, both my Father and Steve’s Father are battling some trying medical times so they will not be able to attend. Due to those factors, it really makes this Haskell for me the most meaningful and notably even more meaningful because you don’t ever sit and realize how many of the best days of your life with friends and family will get to happen. Clearly that day for the four of us was very rare, and continue to be harder to accomplish as the years go by.

Monmouth Park Picks, Sunday, July 24th, 2016

We again try to build on the Haskell bankroll. Twitter followers tell me it was $2.7g profit yesterday on Ex/Tri/Double Boxes, unlike my nature but glad you guys cashed a bunch will asking for additional in race insight. Will try to expand on that here and will be there live if you would like that insight instead of through DM, just come with a cold one. Get Hot Stay Hot, Chalk Up.

Race 1: 6-2-4/5

Race 2: 4-7-1 – Will use 7 defensively, Small.

Race 3: 1-6-5 – Best Bet

Race 4: 7-3-9/10 – Will use 3 defensively and maybe 10 after paddock look.

Race 5: 4-2-1/3 – Wide open between those 4, use them all defensively in key situation.

Race 6: 8-1/2/6/9-1/2/6/9 – Best Bet

Race 7: 6-10-2 – Will use 10 defensively.

Race 8: 2-5-4/7 – Will use 5 defensively.

Race 9: 6/1-1A/All – 1 of those 2 will win, Use both.

Monmouth Park Picks, Saturday, July 23rd, 2016

Meet Record: 98 (49-17-8) – 50% Winners – 75% ITM – Best Bet: 25 (19-4-0) 76% Winners, 92% ITM

Money Invested: $4,092 – Money Returned: $9,858.75 – Total Profit – ($+5,766.75)
7/9/2016 Results:4 Top Pick Winners ($41.90), 2 Best Bet Winners ($28.70), 3 Exacta’s ($84.20), 1 $200 Cold Double as noted in article ($780), 1 Pick 4 ($218.40)

Last Week Results: 2 Top Pick Winners ($25.90), 2 Exacta’s ($128.20), 1 Trifecta ($203.30)

When the doors closed if anyone left in profit last week from Monmouth on Saturday picking what collectively ended up being a total of 23 1st time decade winning horse/jockey/trainer/owner or combination of all at an average of 9/1 up to as high as 42/1, I would love to sit down with you so you can tell me how you in the world that you backed that horse, trainer, jockey or owner besides merely placing a bet on the name. Lastly, I’ve seen some minor shady stuff and I’ve never been one for the fix or conspiracies, but I can’t help to not mention how Paco had 4 horses on the day in such a strangle hold it looked like he may kill the horse via lack of oxygen and not once but twice the gate was held fully loaded for a 1 min. 27 seconds and also 1 min. and 7 seconds and both times the favorite never left the gate, literally. Watch the race replays for yourself, the fix job was not so hidden and quite a coincidence on how the day ended up playing out as a whole. With that being said, despite it being my worst day at Monmouth in 8 days’ shy of 19 years of attendance, the 2 races we hit ended up leaving us in profit of $223 on the day. Actually quite a tough card today with multiple possible winners in each race. We hope to get the ridiculous meet statistics on the rise again here. Get Hot Stay Hot, Chalk Up.

Early Pick 5 (Tight Bankroll Ticket) – $144
Race 1: 1,4,5
Race 2: 2,3,4,5
Race 3: 3,5,6
Race 4: 1,6
Race 5: 1,4,5,9

Early Pick 4 (Tight Bankroll Ticket) – $24
Race 3: 3,5,6
Race 4: 1,6
Race 5: 1,4,5,9
Race 6: 1,3

Late Pick 5 (Tight Bankroll Ticket) – $96
Race 6: 1,3
Race 7: 7,9
Race 8: 1,4,6
Race 9: 1,3,6,7
Race 10: 1,4,5,7

Late Pick 4 (Tight Bankroll Ticket) – $48
Race 7: 7,9
Race 8: 1,4,6
Race 9: 1,3,6,7
Race 10: 1,4,5,7

Race 1: Maiden Special Weight, 3YO & UP, 6 Furlongs, (Dirt)
#4 Fifth and Madison is a second time starter for Todd Pletcher. Kin to seven winners including multiple graded stakes winner Fordubai. #1 My Country had a good debut but was a dud next time out at a longer distance. Parx stinks which adds an additional negative of that performance but repeat of debut makes her worthy of a watch. #5 Chamade is a 1st time starter out of a dam stakes winning sprinter and first two starters were also winners. Works are good, gets a bump down with Joey B on board who is well out of his prime for the money that gets dumped on him at Monmouth. Would recommend keying the 3 on top or exacta/tri box. Do not have a strong feeling about winner besides 1 of these 3 definitely being on top with the others well behind.

#4 Fifth and Madison
#1 My Country
#5 Chamade

Race 2: Allowance Optional Claiming, 3YO, 5 ½ Furlongs, (Dirt)
#4 Valuable Charmer has gotten caught in race flow vs. her liking all too often for me, but given that being the case may choose to go out front this time as this one has best speed and tactical speed in the race. If not could end up again not liking the flow and bowing out. Will be very good exchange wager while watching the fractions. #5 Little Cherie beyers certainly put her in the mix and the barn excels 1st off the claim. #3 Sheikh and Sleek career figure last time out, prime position for a bounce, keep a keen eye on body language in the paddock. Must add #2 Love You Back with Trevor McCarthy in for the ride. Small field not much you can do, but any of these 4 can win; toss Scotland Bay, no shot.

#4 Valuable Charmer
#5 Little Cherie
#3 Sheikh and Sleek
Must Add – #2 Love You Back

Race 3: Claiming, 3YO & Up, 1 1/16 Miles, (Turf)
I give 1 more shot to the #6 Ginger Goose to find out what it’s like to be in the winner’s circle not place swimming pool. #5 Tapkee has the best turf rider in America on board in what should be a very nice pace scenario to close late. Ran second last time out to a group much the same. #3 Celebrity Warrior looks to hold on one time but all too often gets closed and finds self right here.

#6 Ginger Goose
#5 Tapkee
#3 Celebrity Warrior

Race 4: Claiming, 3YO & Up, 6 Furlongs, (Dirt)
Tough top two here as they stand much the best vs. the field. My slight lean goes to #1 Congrats to M K takes merely a numbered rise in class while the field is essentially exactly what he just beat in a hand ride. Will save ground getting right up top on the rail. #6 More Mia has beyers that match these while one could match a case to win those beyers vs. this field propel her to victory, just never seems to do so. Will be interesting to see what #2 Congrats Kid does as like my winner usually looks to shoot out of the gate to the front and sit on top. Has stalked before and may chose to do so here in hopes of my winner getting in a speed duel and tiring; as up top she would be clearly 2nd best.

#1 Congrats to M K
#6 More Mia
#2 Congrats Kid

Race 5: Claiming, 3YO & Up, 5 ½ Furlongs, (Turf)
Another race with two standouts over the crowd. My lean goes to #5 Wildly Good Lookin with the best turf rider in America on board teaming up with McMahon to try and continue on what has already been a successful meet for the combination. #4 Twist and Turn returns after having quite the troubled trip last time out. The horse really loves the front end above all else and I think she is second best in that style in this one. Has come off the pace before but was clearly not the same horse. If the 1/1A Entry stay coupled I will take that as my show selection. If they separate #9 Poochy is a must add.

#5 Wildly Good Lookin
#4 Twist and Turn
#1/1A Entry – Only if they stay coupled
Must Add – #9 Poochy – If the 1/1A Entry break apart

Race 6: Allowance Optional Claiming, 3YO & Up, 1 Mile, (Dirt)
#3 Red River Heidi was a very good best bet winner two back and then clearly bounced last time out therefore I expect the middle figure between those two efforts here today and that should easily be best. #1 Maybe Tonight comes in off a layoff with good supporting works and has been successful at Monmouth before. #2 Indian Chaser will like to clear the field up top and be impossible to reel in, however I expect Garden Games to provide the pressure needed to stay close to field. I feel inclined to mention #6 Pinot Grigio who has forever been a Monmouth Park favorite like One for Don. Both always seem to be there in the end. No shot at winning but maybe she grabs a piece for the loyal supporters.

#3 Red River Heidi
#1 Maybe Tonight
#2 Indian Chaser

Race 7: Maiden Claiming, 3YO & Up, 5 ½ Furlongs, (Turf)
Best Bet – #7 My Bucky’s Boy has posted very good turf figures while routing. Goes for a turf sprint in this one and that is the specialty and dominate success of Plesa Jr. #9 Saratoga Prime is also a Plesa Jr. entry so just slide you eyes up to the last sentence for explanation. Also gets Trevor McCarthy in for the ride. #8 Lost Sonnet has faced a little bit of everything in terms of non race setup to liking, gate troubled and ensuing troubled trips. Need to see a full wire to wire finish before putting on top. Easily have the Beyer figures to compete with these though.

#7 My Bucky’s Boy
#9 Saratoga Prime
#8 Lost Sonnet

Race 8: Jersey Shore S. (Grade III), 3YO, 6 Furlongs, (Dirt)
#1 Front Pocket Money has shown success on both the turf and dirt. His latest was a Beyer figure on the main track that makes him a must use today. The horse is versatile so the rail draw should not be a problem, even though I would like winning changes a lot more in another post. #4 Cashel Rock comes off best figure of career as essentially the veteran of the race. With that being said, those two going hand and hand are exactly what scares me. Could be prime for a bounce after last race, especially with the amount of races he’s had to get that figure previously. Not sure if you see that number again here and will need to, to be victorious. #6 Full Salute will look to take some of the show pool for the successful combination again of McCarthy and Plesa Jr.

#1 Front Pocket Money
#4 Cashel Rock
#6 Full Salute

Race 9: Lamplighter S., 3YO, 1 1/17 Miles, (Turf)
Another race with two standpoints, however this one has 2 underneath that also pose a threat. My lean goes to #6 Second Mate as everyone knows I will ride with Antonio on the turf until he retires. Has consistent Beyers to compete with these and has best tactical speed in the race, with the combination of Antonio on board to use it, should get first jump on the closers. #3 Noble Quality is the same exact horse as my winner, will look to get first jump on closers but the horse is just not as good plain and simple. Couple that with the need to be near the front to feel comfortable with a jockey on board that is washed up and obsessed with sitting in the back to do his work. 4/5? No thank you. #7 Brass Compass falters in a slow to mild pace, with what should be going on today, will benefit greatly from a race setup more to his liking. Has also already lost to my top pick winner. Must add #1 Vulcan’s Forge.

#6 Second Mate
#3 Noble Quality
#7 Brass Compass
Must Add – #1 Vulcan’s Forge

Race 10: Claiming, 3YO & UP, 6 Furlongs, (Dirt)
When the stakes dust settles, unfortunately another terrible race to end the day. Should just close it after the 9th and place these horses elsewhere for bigger fields as I’ve said a million times. A slight lean goes to #5 Tina’s Note. #7 Runaway train follows that and #4 Flashy Zee closes it out. #1 Mo Mon’s Copycat could also be involved.

#5 Tina’s Note
#7 Runaway Train
#4 Flashy Zee
Maybe Add – #1 Mo Mon’s Copycat

Monmouth Park Picks, Friday, July 22nd, 2016

Decent card today with Race 2,3,6,7,9 quite competitive. Get Hot Stay Hot, Chalk Up.

Race 1: 2-1-3/6

Race 2: 3-2-All – Can make strong argument for #2, Will use defensively.

Race 3: 2/4/5 – In PP order only, will key all 3 on top with several combinations underneath, will not play to win.

Race 4: 1-7-All – Best Bet

Race 5: 6-1-4/8

Race 6: 6-5-3

Race 7: 8-2/4-2/4 – Race is WIDE OPEN if 8 does not show up. Can make strong argument for 2 & 4 and also decent arguement for 3,6,7. Would suggest using all of those in P4/5/6.

Race 8: 2-3/7-3/7 – Close to Best Bet but 3 & 7 do have a chance.

Race 9: 3-1-2/5/8 – Can make strong argument for the 5, will use very defensively.

Monmouth Park Picks, Saturday, July 16th, 2016

I again forgot to send myself my picks and analysis from work to home computer so updated pick/money results for the meet will be posted next week. A lot of big fields tomorrow which should be nice but still looks chalky. As I’ve said all my life, it’s about continuing to find where the value lies on the horse you love, as we did last week with the $100 double that cleaned us $780 and the 2g week before that. Had a wedding last week and could not get WIFI to submit any picks, have another wedding tonight but wanted to provide DANO and you at least some short but sweet picks & analysis for this card. Get Hot Stay Hot, Chalk Up.

I will NOT be playing this ticket but the way Monmouth has gone, will call this the
Early Pick 5 (Chalk Up Ticket) – $6
Race 1: 5
Race 2: 6
Race 3: 6
Race 4: 4,7
Race 5: 1,3,7,8

Early Pick 4 (Tight Bankroll & Got Money to Dance Ticket) – $16
Race 3: 6,9,11
Race 4: 1,4,7
Race 5: 1,3,7,8
Race 6: 9

Late Pick 5 (Tight Bankroll & Got Money to Dance Ticket) – $12
Race 6: 9
Race 7: 5,7,8
Race 8: 1,6
Race 9: 6,7
Race 10: 6,9

Late Pick 4 (Tight Bankroll & Got Money to Dance Ticket) – $30
Race 7: 5,7,8
Race 8: 1,6
Race 9: 6,7
Race 10: 4,6,8,9,10

Race 1: Maiden Claiming, 3YO & Up, 6 Furlongs (Dirt)
#5 Saint Bernadine posted her best Beyer last time which puts her well above these. Has a red hot Antonio on board and is clearly the one to beat. #3 Deference comes in with some good works/breezes and sire is Grade 1 stakes winning sprinter. #6 Karen’s Chianti looks like the next logical selection here. Gets Nicky on board who seems to have gone cold lately, can’t imagine that lasting for long.

#5 Saint Bernadine 6/5
#3 Deference 6/1
#6 Karen’s Chianti 7/2

Race 2: Maiden Special Weight, 3YO & Up, 1 Mile & 70 Yards, (Dirt)#6 Judy’s Chance ran a sneaky good sprint debut considering the troubled trip and lack of logical sense in placement with pedigree both extremely successful going long on both turf and dirt and around two turns not sprinting. Expect an improvement here, a big negative for me is Lebron on board. #4 Fakery while weakening last time out in this spot, a Beyer was still posted in that race that puts in her conversation with these. Will look to get away up top. #1 All Even will give a shot and second look to the combination of Antonio and Mazza teaming up together.

#6 Judy’s Chance 5/2
#4 Fakery 3/1
#1 All Even 5/1

Race 3: Maiden Claiming, 3YO & Up, 1 Mile, (Turf)
#6 My Bucky’s Boy looks to rise above the place pool after two straight. Was game last time out trying to run down a big time horse and lost by a neck. Race 3 is right around the time when Paco starts to build his trio or foursome on the day and is always dangerous with Plesa. #9 Paddy O’Wagon comes in for a tag off the layoff for Juice Cibelli. I will use defensively and could change this pick while live, those 3 factors scream winner. #11 Thought Partner is a must add to your Pick 4 and Pick 5. When moving from Maiden Special weight to Maiden Claimer, Pompay wins at a 42% clip for a $3.97 ROI. Additionally, there barn is very successful making the same move and Ferrer is always a big price winning rider. Will probably key in several different ways as my stat play of the day, but the two above will be no walk in the park to beat, 3 very good angles on these 3 horses. Would be STUNNED if 1 did not win.

#6 My Bucky’s Boy 3/1
#9 Paddy O’Wagon 7/2
#11 Thought Partner 6/1

Race 4: Claiming, 3YO & Up, 6 Furlongs, (Dirt)
#4 Red Rocket Express makes first start off the claim on the good drugs for Navarro. Pace looks to be a central park stroll, should stalk and close late. Can also make a very strong argument for #7 Little Hitman has done absolutely nothing wrong for me every time I make him my best bet winner. Looks for 3 straight here but the big drop in class is very concerning to me, cannot back him as my winner for that factor today. #1 Foileen gets Shannon Uske on board who I like to call my Trifecta protector. Doesn’t win all that often but man does she continuously close a Trifecta for you at a price. Must add #6 One for Don who loves to impress the Monmouth Park crowd.

#4 Red Rocket Express 3/1
#7 Little Hitman 2/1
#1 Foileen 10/1
Must Add – #6 One for Don

Race 5: Claiming, 3YO & Up, 1 Mile, (Turf)
Race is absolutely wide open as if the AE’s get in I could go as deep as 7. Need to see scratches and changes and how the turf is playing early in the day and also if it’s soft after tonight’s thunderstorm before I can attempt to pick a winner as this is a race I will go back to and look at again. Would be huge to land a big price in here to double with my best bet of the day next. My dart board toss landed on these 3 in no particular order. #1 One Eyed Ray, #7 Fu Manchu, #8 Big Daddy B. Also Add, #3 Mpenzisboy. Possible Adds, #6 Z Ponti, #11 Information Center, #12 Tyrrhenian, #14 Magnanimous Mine. Look for an update later tweeted by me and retweeted by Dano.

Race 6: Claiming, 3YO & Up, 6 Furlongs, (Dirt)
Best Bet – #9 Big Talkin is in top form of career right now and will sit off of Rocket Man Richie the entire way through and engulf him late. #10 Naught Delite will be looking to sit with my winner and be a bigger difference on the stretch. #2 Rocket Man Richie some will argue his Beyer’s with me, this horse has more excuses then a 2nd grader being asked for last night’s homework, 1/1 at post? No thank you, tell your dog to keep the homework.

#9 Big Talkin 5/2
#10 Naughty Delite 5/1
#2 Rocket Man Richie 7/2

Race 7: Claiming, 3YO & Up, 5 ½ Furlongs, (Turf)
#5 Shea D Girl is much the best in class coming into this one out of a stakes race. Her Beyers top the field and Servis is a BEAST with turf sprinters. #7 Just My Game will look to build on her 1st career game turf start last time out. Has all the room in the world to improve if turf is what she always wanted. Also gets the best turf rider in the world IMO. GALLARDO! Must add to Pick 4/5. #8 Get Air Lex Orlando and Plesa Jr. on the turf with a big price, sign me up.

#5 Shea D Girl 5/2
#7 Just My Game 5/1
#8 Get Air Lex 8/1

Race 8: Maiden Claiming, 3YO & Up, 6 Furlongs, (Dirt)
#6 Sue’s Stones gets 1 more shot for me. My only best bet loss of the entire year. Broken record here, best horse in race with best trainer in race, best spot, best jockey, still can’t finish. Last time I’ll give a shot. No excuses. #1 Fortunate Night must get a look while facing better last two and have Beyer’s that put her in the mix. Doesn’t hurt having Nicky on board. #3 Sunev will be my pedigree play of the day. Makes debut being kin to 6 for 6 first time winners. Has good works coming in but my main concern for 3rd and not winner is the barn is abysmal in this spot. Will probably play this one at a cool 8/1 and not Sue’s Stones at an awful price, but the name of the game for the site is to pick winners.

#6 Sue’s Stones 8/5
#1 Fortunate Night 7/2
#3 Sunev 8/1

Race 9: Allowance Optional Claiming, 3YO, 1 Mile, (Dirt)
A race between three here, the rest can stay in the paddock area for pictures. #7 Vees Boy is a horse that needs the lead, which I usually shy away from when in farthest post. However, Paco is on board and Pletcher is the trainer that concern dismisses quite quickly. If he does not get the lead in what will be a very contested pace, IMMEDIATELY GO ON BET FAIR AND EXCHANGE WAGER THESE TWO  – #6 Lazarus Project benefits substantially with every inch that the pace is ultra contested and hot. #1 Gone Local is very much like Lazarus Project just not sure if the horse is as good. If you feel like Vees Boy does not get across or the pace is so contested and tiring they all fatigue before the race and P4/P5 start, you must add this one vertically and horizontally, can improve and win in that race setup.

#7 Vees Boy 8/5
#6 Lazarus Project 9/5
#1 Gone Local 5/1

Race 10: Claiming, 3YO & Up, 1 Mile, (Turf)
Not really confident in any of these in another bad excuse ridden card ender. Two make a little headway over the rest. #9 Hopefaithjoy has the excuses of clipping heels last time out and falling to face. Recovered injury free and has some good works since, along with pretty potent Beyers before the incident. If she returns to those great but hard to be gong hoe about first race since. #6 Kent’s Baby Girl will look shoot out of the gate and get away from everybody. Problem is, she tries that every time and falters more times than not. #3 How Come, #8 Moonlit Sonnet, #4 Don’s Escapade, all also have a shot to win or take 3rd if you want to take a shot vs. a excuse driven weak field.

#9 Hopefaithjoy 7/2
#6 Ken’ts Baby Girl 3/1
Add- #3 How Come 6/1
Add – #8 Moonlit Soonet 8/1
Add – #4 Don’s Escapade 8/1

Monmouth Park Picks, Friday, July 15th, 2016

Was on the DL for a small stint last week while attending a destination wedding. It’s hot in Florida! The 53% winning train will continue to roll today.

Race 1: 1/3/6 – Can make strong case for all 3. Will not play to win, Ex/Tri Box.

Race 2: 3-2-6

Race 3: 7-9-1/2/8 – Can make strong for the 9. Will use defensively.

Race 4: 1/2-8/9-8/9 – Can make strong arguement for 1 & 2, Listed in post position order, do not have a favorite. Will not play to win, Key both on top.

Race 5: 5-1/2-1/2 – Best Bet

Race 6: 2-3/4-3/4 – Will use both the 3 & 4 defensively.

Race 7: 7-1-11

Race 8: 7-5/8-5/8 – Best Bet

Race 9: 1/6/7/8 – Any of the 4 can win, Not sure how I will use. Maybe Ex/Tri/Super Box/Key. Listed in post postion order, don’t have a favorite.

NHC Tournament Recap, July 3rd, 2016

A few take away’s from this weekend’s tournament. Agree or Disagree, comment or ask a question, or maybe some learning tools. If you are still not learning in this grueling game and think you know it all, you will continue to lose money I promise you that. Every day at the window or tournament day, every new handicapper you meet provides a new learning tool, always keep that in mind.

The first thing that came to mind to me after this tournament that has lingered on from a few others is how hard it is to play poor vs. the horse ballers. When people ask about my job I always use the analogy, “I’m a doctor that gets paid like the office janitor and works like a surgeon”. That’s the god’s honest truth. I make a decent living for my age sure, but I saved up the $500 in my entries heading into this tournament. Gosh, I have a wedding to plan and save for and the fact alone that my significant other lets me play in and supports me in these is one of the several reasons I am marrying her.

Back to the point though, it’s really difficult to play with these ballers that show up, have a $150/$250/$500 bankroll and pick any horse in the first race and put it all on that horse knowing if they win their bankroll is minimum $700/$1,500/$2,000 or if they lose they have another entry. This is the 3rd tournament in a row that I have played in where someone went all in on 1 of 2 entries to start the day. As a poor player you are automatically grinding the day away to catch him and you are in a deep hole without even setting up your chairs at the venue. Really irks me as one of the draw backs to a live tournament where you are allowed to have more than 1 entry and if you have money, how you use one card is honestly laughable. It’s a real disadvantage to the people that don’t have money to dart throw to start the day and honestly, it’s not handicapping or impressive in the tiniest bit. It’s a cop out if you ask me.

The second thing is how tough it is to play at a young age in the same nature vs. the ballers or retired. I don’t have the ability to go all in like that. Hell, 9 different people sent me a DM about the United Nations race, I sent them all the same exact message back “World Approval, will not and Can Not Lose”. Here I am in 21st and I have $189 bankroll with 4 races to play and only put $100 on him to win. Yes, that propelled me to 7th, but in my heart while punching those buttons I don’t have the balls or money to put more on him, if I did I surely lock up a Top 10 spot on the leaderboard and extra cash. It’s a mindset that has to be changed. I do understand many call me the youngest tournament handicapper at the track so my lifestyle is also different to my opponents, but to be successful in these tournaments I have to be able to let loose, and it has really limited me several times now.

I could go on with many other things positive and negative but for time’s sake, last but not least, on a positive note, I have now participated in 7 live tournaments and at some point in the day I have been on the top 10 of the leaderboard for at least 4 straight races. I really don’t think people understand how difficult these are with 200-500 entries per tournament. It really excites me for my tournament career going forward. I’ve been in striking distance in each and one close out, especially in the two latest and I’ve secured myself a NHC and BCBC seat. I really look forward to these, I have a lot of fun but also but also put a TON of time in. It’s taxing but has also been really rewarding for me and I look forward to many more to come.

I appreciate the support from life long track friends, Steve and my family that always make it out, my fiancé that shows anytime I ask and also from some twitter relationships that I’ve built that followed me the entire way through DM or live on the leaderboard and checked in with thoughts and ideas, or handicapped the cards on their own and provided me their insight. None of it goes un-noticed. Thank you.

I may add more to this at a later point, but wanted to at least get this out there.

Get Hot Stay Hot

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Monmouth Park Picks, Saturday, July 2nd, 2016

Meet Record: 76 (43-11-4) – 56% Winners – 76% ITM – Best Bet: 22 (18-3-0) 81% Winners, 95% ITM

Money Invested: $3,502 – Money Returned: $8,251.65 – Total Profit – ($+4,749.65)

As Promised, 6/18/2016 Results: 7 Top Pick Winners ($55.20), 2 Best Bet Winners ($15.50), 5 Exacta’s ($60.40), 2 Trifecta’s ($60.10), 4 Cold Doubles ($26.60), 3 Pick 4’s ($389.50), 2 Pick 5’s ($261.70)

Last Week Results: 9 Top Pick Winners ($81.60), 3 Best Bet Winners ($35.90), 5 Exacta’s ($90.80), 1 Trifecta ($11.00), 5 Cold Doubles ($47.40), 2 Pick 4’s ($57.10), 3 Pick 5’s ($334.65)

Had a Historic week for Dano and my twitter feed last time out as I know from DM’S 6 followed along to both the picks/analysis and in game tweets. If you did follow along, the total was 5.2 grand profits at day’s end, as I tweeted my ticket sizes for both the double and pick 5’s listed above. If you just followed along the picks and analysis you picked up 1.1g in profit with minimum wagers, not a bad day. Hope to continue this run for you guys and as always, if you have a question, or want some plays, just DM me and ask. As the 6 will tell you last week, it pays to ask a question. Get Hot Stay Hot, Chalk Up.

Early Pick 4 (Tight Bankroll Ticket) – $8
Race 3: 4,5
Race 4: 2,6,7,9
Race 5: 2,9
Race 6: 2

Early Pick 4 (Got Money to Dance Ticket) – $30
Race 3: 4,5,6
Race 4: 2,6,7,9
Race 5: 2,4,6,7,9
Race 6: 2

Late Pick 4 (Tight Bankroll Ticket) – $12
Race 9: 1,2,6,9
Race 10: 3,4,6
Race 11: 3
Race 12: 1,6

Race 1: Claiming, 3YO & Up, 1 Mile, (Turf)
Brutal opener and as you see I will not be putting together a Pick 5 ticket as you can make an argument for 5 of these. #7 La Peregrina looks to be the only horse with possible excuses for past performances in the race. Debut in Keeneland ends up being a race vs. 5 2nd time out winners including graded stakes winner Kareena. Last time out before she was able to go off, the track changed to slop. Now my concern, if I can see those factors, I know the trainer and barn can, and the pedigree has no turf success, why are we changing surfaces? #2 Preppy goes 2nd time out for Todd Pletcher which is always a must add or you do not like money. #3 Purrmorehissless makes debut as a half to Grade 1 synthetic winner Lingerie and second dam won Breeder’s cup Juvenile Fillies. Clearly best pedigree among these if you are that type of player. #6 R Shade of Gray looks to benefit most from suspected race setup. #1/1A Entry cannot leave Paco off the board, especially on a first time starter at this point and time. Many people say he’s just getting the best horse in every race. I would agree slightly, however he is doing some amazing stuff on the horses that are clearly not the best in the race and you can clearly see, especially with binoculars or live HD cam he strikes fear in jockey’s to make moves before they are ready.

#7 La Peregrina 3/1
#2 Preppy 5/2
#3 Purrmorehissless 5/1
Must Add – #6 R Shade of Gray 5/1
Must Add – #1/1A Entry 4/1

Race 2: Maiden Claiming, 3YO & Up, 1 1/16 Miles, (Dirt)
#6 Mulligan’s Singer looked game vs. one of my top pick winners last week late who won as odds under favorite going away. While the rest of the field was gassed this one was still gaining ground. Drops vs. lesser here, and would seem to be live in a 6 day turn around. I think the stretch out in distance should help to considering last races outcome. #4 Eye Contact struggled last time out but it was first time ever going two turns. Experience angle here along with possible lone speed up front which would also help. #1 Pegasus Storm I give you one more shot, period.

#6 Mulligan’s Singer 5/2
#4 Eye Contact 3/2
#1 Pegasus Storm 6/1

Race 3: Maiden Claiming, 3YO & Up, 5 ½ Furlongs, (Dirt)
Best Bet – #4 Sue’s Stones has already finished ahead of 3 in this race and only took 3rd to 1 graded stakes winner and the other maiden special graduate in that one. None of these come close to that talent at their peak. #5 Mama Pajama just add Paco Lopez at this meet in a race where none of these horses are any good. #6 Nellie Mac gets that barn improvement statistic as they are in ITM 19% of the time second time out.

Best Bet – #4 Sue’s Stones 5/2
#5 Mama Pajama 3/1
#6 Nellie Mac 4/1

Race 4: Claiming, 3YO & Up, 1 & 1/16 Miles, (Turf)
Very tough race between 3 horses here. Would not talk you off an Ex/Tri box with the 3. I lean to #7 or #9 on top but I could never pick Uske as a winner, so I go with #9 Tapkee while facing much better, did not really do anything in those. Chased in the slop and didn’t factor vs. Graded 3 stakes winner respectively. The time would be now with the drop in class and successful surface switch. #7 Air Ranger has the layoff angle with proven success in step up effort off of these types. #6 Talent Show would be top choice going away but if you know what a bounce is, don’t think I’ve seen a horse more prime for one. Best effort of career came last time out while smoking a field which produced 6 winners’ next time out and best figure of career.

#9 Tapkee 3/1
#7 Air Ranger 4/1
#6 Talent Show 5/2

Race 5: Maiden Special Weight, 2YO, 5 Furlongs, (Dirt)
#9 Nonna Mela trainer is Todd Pletcher for this second time starter. If I need to say more, he teaches and lets the horse learn. If you watch debut replay, you can see the horse learning, now comes in after the teaching. For the cherry on cake, dam is full sister to Haskell winner Bluegrass Cat. #2 Day By Day has a very good shot here, would not be surprised if in winner’s circle at all. Showed tons of a speed giving graduate Misschief Mass all she could handle and then some. If not for a bull-shit stewards decision would have taken her down. Therefore the question is, was Misschief Mass even that good? Should be a factor. #6 Mission Good Karma giving a second look here. Was clearly no match for my best bet winner a week or so back. The two above are clearly nowhere close to that talent, could be a sneaky winner here in a formable spot.

#9 Nonna Mela 7/2
#2 Day By Day 5/2
#6 Mission Good Karma 4/1

Race 6: Claiming, 3YO & Up, 6 Furlongs, (Dirt)
Triple Best Bet – #2 My Little Darlings takes a Blizzard Beach plunge in class and ships in with the needle hanging out for Navarro from Parx. There’s just no other horse at all that has the speed to contest, could be a wire to wire or around the turn blow away. I guess go all behind if you are exacta/tri player. Like last week where we made the 2.1g with my triple best bet. I will pound this double for $200 or so and single on 10-15 Pick 4 Tickets. There’s always a way to find value on your horse of the day. Just do the homework on how. $8 DD cheap? X 100 is $800. $70 Pick4 cheap? 7.5 x 70 = $525. 3 p.m and you just staked $1,325 in your pocket. Sometimes all you have to do is ask.

#2 My Little Darlings 6/5

Race 7: Allowance Optional Claiming, 3YO & Up, 5 ½ Furlongs, (Turf)Another tough one here as I can make a case for 4. #3 Wise Mac gets a mere lean due to that fact that my best friend/longtime NHC tournament supporter’s nickname is Mac. A veteran horse here who could use the vast amount of experience vs. a weak field. Statistically you have to go with the #1 Fly Bye Pomeroy & 1A Entry Sterling’s Maximus next as you have to use Paco and you get 2 entries that have just as good as a shot to the rest with 1. If the entry breaks apart, I do like the 1A better. Had a tough luck trip last time out as 4 no shot winners dueled each other to the death and he was forced 5 wide to catch them on turn. #2 Bam Bam Brown will be the pace setter where Nicky is at his best up top. Has overcome pressure before and has run best races when being asked to quicken. Must Add to horizontals and verticals

#4 All Above Diva.
#3 Wise Mac 7/2
#1/1A Entry 5/2
#2 Bam Bam Brown 3/1
Must Add – #4 All About Diva

Race 8: Claiming, 3YO & Up, 6 Furlongs, (Dirt)
Tough two here. #3 Mr. Spaceman gets my slight edge top pick. Got smoked by my Best Bet a few weeks back and that horse went on again to roll competition with a 80+ Beyer last weekend, following a 70 in the race with Mr. Spaceman. Those stats would make you think he is the one to beat but there is another in here and I would not pay even money on this horse knowing what’s behind. #6 PJ’s Bad Boy will be tough cutting back in distance and taking a drop in class. Just like Mr. Spaceman, got beat by a best bet of mine in dominating fashion. Will be interesting to see  these two not up against monsters. #1 Runaway Train also takes a drop in class and may be the main speed on top, after today’s bias, that could be a huge factor if playing the same.

#3 Mr. Spaceman 8/5
#6 PJ’S Bad Boy 5/2
#1 Runaway Train 9/2

Race 9: Allowance, 3YO & Up, 1 1/18 Miles, (Turf)
For all of us men with significant others out there, My Top Pick goes to #9 Blame It On Me who was interestingly placed in last race in only 2nd lifetime start. Had to face graded stakes winner Achnaha, fell out of the gate and had to stretch out 3 full furlongs from 1st start distance. Cuts back to distance of best trainings and I think that will make the difference. #1 Sky Painter was clearly not live after a lengthy layoff and looks to have needed one. Ran to hard early, got caught in traffic and swung super wide all equaling to a flat stretch. #2 Always On My Mind looks to finish out a tough top 4 in the show pool with JJ on board and from Pletcher’s Barn. Must also add to all vertical and horizontals #6 Bai Bai Baby.

#9 Blame It On Me 3/1
#1 Sky Painter 7/2
#2 Always On My Mind 6/1
Must Add – #6 Bai Bai Baby 5/1

Race 10: Allowance Optional Claiming, 3YO, 6 Furlongs, (Dirt)
Part two of the Back to Back tough races before Chalk City begins in 11 & 12. I lean to #3 Formal Summation with quite the surface change again as last time he moved turf to dirt he won the Laurel Futurity. Last time on Main Track lost to Justin Squared who many loved and pounded on last two big cards. Pretty good horse IMO. This would seem to be a drop in class, however I’m concerned the barn is ICE COLD. #6 Imperial Hint will absolutely be a threat dropping from two graded stakes races with ridiculous paces. If they let him get loose on top, it’s over. #4 He’s Cotton had a decent race two back in this spot but was up against it vs. graded stakes winner Awesome Slew. Looked worse last time out at Parx but I put absolutely no stake on anything at Parx. Will have my eye on but not sure if I am all that worried about him beating me.

#3 Formal Summation 3/1
#6 Imperial Hint 8/5
#4 He’s Cotton 9/2

Race 11: Salvator Mile (Grade III), 3YO & Up, 1 Mile, (Dirt)
Can Monmouth get some competition in one of these big races 1 time this year? This race is a mere skip. #3 Mr. Jordan took the Pegasus in 2015 here and returns to the Salvator Mile here from a long layoff. So what to expect, who knows? #5 Comfort is the clear second choice by the angle of what have the others done after him, not necessarily what he’s done. FINALLY broke through at Belmont and both the 2nd/3rd place finishers behind him scored 100 Beyer victories next time out. Really doesn’t mean he has to score a 100 Beyer here and maybe they just needed one? Sorry I’m not playing 4/5 on that with Joey Bravo on board who gets pounded by the jersey shore attendance if he was on a 6 hump Camel vs. Wedding Toast, while should have retired at the shore 3 years ago. Pick your poison for 3rd, Green Gratto stinks and couldn’t beat a bunch of nobodies at 1/9. Maybe Allied Air Raid or Red Judicata? What a Joke.

#3 Mr. Jordan 8/5
#5 Comfort 2/1

Race 12: Maiden Special Weight, 3YO & Up, 1 & 1/17 Miles, (Turf)Another absolutely terrible card ender. I mean just end this thing at 10 or 11 races and pack in the rest of the fields! Starting to really get Embarrassing. Average end of the day winner has to be paying out like $3.80. #6 Otto was better than all of these in debut statistically, including beating the 9. Goes 2nd time out for Christophe Clement who is nothing sort of ELITE in this spot. #1 Built for Profit looks to benefit most from proposed race setup. Could be a nice little exacta price to end at least. Not really a strong opinion but I’ll go with #5 Tyr who has early speed and will be biggest beneficiary if they let him get loose.

#6 Otto 2/1
#1 Built for Profit 6/1
#5 Tyr 6/1

Monmouth Park Picks, Friday, July 1st, 2016

Happy July 4th Weekend, Will have Picks today and Tomorrow. NO PICKS ON SUNDAY, as I will be competing in live tournament at Monmouth. Nearing 60% Winners during the 2016 Meet. Get Hot Stay Hot.

Race 1: 7-5-2 – Can’t believe I’m backing Uske. Spread As I will also.

Race 2: 1-3-6

Race 3: 7-3-6 – Can make strong argument for #3, Will use defensively.

Race 4: 8-6-2/5/7 – Can make strong argument for #6, Will use defensively.

Race 5: 6-4-7 – Best Bet

Race 6: 5-3-6 – Best Bet

Race 7: 3-7-8 – Wide open between top 3 selections. Key all on top.

Race 8: 9-1-5/6 – Wide open between top 3 selections. Key them on top.

Race 9: 2-7-6/8